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ALTAR CALL: Always ‘strive to do better’


CHERYL HAREWOOD, [email protected]

ALTAR CALL: Always ‘strive to do better’

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HER SERMON was titled The Do-Better Manual, and it urged those in attendance to do better in every area of their lives.

This challenge was thrown out by Sister Sheena Mayers-Granville to the congregation at Dalkeith Methodist Church on Dalkeith Hill, St Michael, during a recent 7 a.m Sunday service which was specially coordinated by the youth department.

Mayers-Granville admonished her listeners to strive to do better at all times and in all things.

 “There’s always something we want to be better at. but how do we actually be better?” she asked as she shared from Leviticus 19:1 and 2 and Matthew 5:47 and 48.

“This morning, God is giving us a challenge to be better. To be better followers, to be holy – as in separated from the world and dedicated to him, to trust in Him, to be better neighbours, better students, better parents, to behave better; to just generally be better.”

The speaker stressed that in order to be better, one must recognise the challenge, determine where and how to find help, and do what’s needed to be better.

She added that God’s story was about loving enemies, forgiving negative experiences, giving and expecting nothing in return, and offering mercy instead of blame and condemnation.

“We live in the real world, and we must be practical, cautious and sensible. Loving our enemies and turning the other cheek is dangerous business and goes against our best interests.

“No, we need to be right, to be safe, to be No. 1, always to be in control of the situation. This is the only way to preserve one’s skin. And so we, the worldly people of the 21st century, live not in a world of grace, but instead in a world
of hostility. We live in a world where if we get robbed or mugged, we press charges. If someone gossips about us, we blast them on social media. If someone says something we don’t like, we must put them ‘in their place’.

“So the question is, do we have a challenge when it comes to our Christian journey? Do we need to do better? I think we can all agree that yes, we must do better. But as we say this, we ask: is it really possible?”

Mayers-Granville declared that help was always found in the Lord.

“He is already helping us when He highlights things in us that we need to change. He is helping when He puts people in our lives to let us know whether we are going the right or wrong way. Children, that’s why you have parents and adults, that’s why you have pastors and prayer partners and brothers and sisters in Christ.”

She told the church that loving one’s enemies, turning the other cheek and forgiving others was what Jesus required.

“But does it make sense? And does it work?
Or is it an offence in our dog-eat-dog world?

“To love our enemy is to take charge of the situation, to refrain from just reacting as a victim of their behaviour. To love our enemy is to change the situation, to take the initiative to relate to our victimisers in a new way – literally, to take the power out of their hands and to put it in ours in a positive way.

“To love the enemy means to understand them as human beings who have hurt us because they themselves hurt inside. It means to make a decision to respond to them in ways which will benefit them and perhaps lead to healing,”
she added.

She said God had challenged all believers to be better models of Christian charity, despite how tough it could be at times.

“We all know that this is not an easy task, especially where God is calling us to be better in areas that are difficult. We are human, and our human nature drives us to want to retaliate when we are hurt, to be frustrated with those who don’t behave how we want, and to give up when things may seem tough and of little reward.”

 

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